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Pt. II: Oxygen Isotopes in Meteorites. Stefan Schröder February 14, 2006 Lecture Series “Origin of Solar Systems” by Dr. Klaus Jockers. Outline. Short summary on meteorite types Introduction, definitions Three-isotope correlation diagram Terrestrial Fractionation line

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pt ii oxygen isotopes in meteorites

Pt. II: Oxygen Isotopes in Meteorites

Stefan Schröder

February 14, 2006

Lecture Series

“Origin of Solar Systems”

by Dr. Klaus Jockers

outline
Outline
  • Short summary on meteorite types
  • Introduction, definitions
  • Three-isotope correlation diagram
    • Terrestrial Fractionation line
    • Carbonaceous Chondrite Anhydrous Mineral line
  • Selected examples:
    • Enstatite chondrite ↔ Earth similarity
    • Aqueous alteration of CM chondrites
meteorite summary
Meteorite Summary

Chondritescontain chondrules, spherules of once molten silicates, and white lumps, called refractory inclusions (the earliest solid matter), in a matrix. Chondrite parent bodies have not undergone large scale melting, homogenization, and differentiation, and thus retain signatures of their early history

Achondrites have been melted (and in some cases homogenized, and differentiated), so that their pre-accretional internal isotopic variations are (usually) not preserved

oxygen isotopes
Oxygen Isotopes

System to classify meteorites using oxygen isotopes is largely the work of Robert Clayton et al.

  • Three stable isotopes (Earth abundance):
    • 16O (99.76%)
    • 17O (0.039%)
    • 18O (0.202%)
  • Definition: δ is variation (‰) from SMOW (Standard Mean Ocean Water):
three isotope correlation diagram

17O addition

fractionation

18O addition

16O addition

Three-isotope correlation diagram

Terrestrial

Fractionation line

Carbonaceous Chondrite

Anhydrous Mineral line

Podosek (1987)

fractionation
Fractionation

Isotopic fractionation can occur through (examples):

  • evaporation of liquid (remaining liquid is enriched in heavier isotopes)
  • difference in chemical bonding in molecules (heavy isotopes are preferentially retained in sites with strongest binding)

Any process that leads to a change in δ17O will produce a change twice as large in δ18O, since the mass difference is twice as large → slope ½.

terrestrial fractionation line

Clayton & Mayeda (1996)

Terrestrial Fractionation line

HED: howardites, eucrites, diogenites; single parent body suspected (Vesta?)

slide8

isotopic exchange with surrounding gas

Spinel is the most refractory: represents the composition of the primary nebula

Clayton (1993)

Allende’s calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAI) define the Carbonaceous Chondrite Anhydrous Mineral line
isotopic heterogeneity in solar nebula theories
Isotopic heterogeneity in solar nebula: Theories
  • Inheritance from the molecular cloud
    • dust and gas components had different proportions of supernova-produced 16O
    • gas component was depleted in 16O by photochemical processes in the molecular cloud (e.g. Van Dishoeck & Black 1988)
  • Locally generated heterogeneity within an initially homogenous nebula
    • gas-phase mass-independent fractionation reaction
    • isotopic self-shielding in the photolysis of CO during the accretion of the Sun (Clayton 2002)
enstatite chondrites may represent building block material
Enstatite chondrites may representbuilding block material

Chondrules of enstatite (MgSiO3) chondrites (× E) on TF line;

Chondrules of carbonaceous chondrites (○ C) border CCAM (CAI) line

Suggests enstatite chondrite material as building block for Earth (Javoy et al. 1986)

Clayton (1993)

cm chondrites show evidence for aqueous alteration
CM chondrites show evidence for aqueous alteration

In carbonaceous chondrites (Mighei-type) high-temperature anhydrous silicates (e.g. olivine) co-exist with low-temperature phyllosilicates (clay minerals).

The latter are predominant in the matrix, and are thought to have been formed from the former by interaction at low temperature (0°C) with water, enriched in heavier isotopes.